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Unformatted text preview: POLS 206 11/29/2011 Social Policy in the United States What is Social Policy
l Government provision of money, food, housing, medical care to segments of society
l Relatively recent emphasis Contending Philosophical Roots
Adam Smith John Maynard Keynes 17231790 18831946 “Invisible Hand” Free markets guide progress
Individuals should be allowed to pursue selfinterest—all benefit
United States 19792007 Government intervenes where markets fail. Unites States 2008? Traditional Philosophy re Welfare (1700s1920s)
l Government should stay out of welfare
l Individual responsibility l Leave “the Market” alone l Let charities deal with the needy
Calvin Coolidge Herbert Hoover
Last presidents with this philosophy 1929 Stock Market Crash/Great Depression
l Failure of markets l 25%+ unemployment l Collapse of farming in Great Plains
l Bank failures l Personal, corporate debt
l Homeless families Government Response?
“New Deal” 1933
l Massive “stimulus” spending
l Bail out banks, businesses
l Regulated prices
l First real “welfare”
Works Progress Administration
Social Security W
Social Security 1935
l Covered many programs at first P
1. $11.4 billion
2. 3.8 million “jobs”
1. $550 billion in benefits today
3. Adult education, training
1. Breeds laziness
2. FDR power base
s Great Society 1960s
l Poverty in the 1950s1960s growing l JFK, LBJ expanded government action l Largest and most controversial expansion of welfare in American history Troubled Regions Great Society Programs
1. War on Poverty 1964=Office of Economic Opportunity
VISTA (domestic Peace Corps)
2. Health Care expansion
Medicare 1965 (Opposed by AMA)
Medicaid 1966 (states + federal government) Great Society Backlash
l l Presidents Nixon and Ford (19691976)
Abolish Office of Economic Opportunity
President Ronald Reagan (19811988)
Eliminate, cut funding 1981 budget
President Bill Clinton (19932000)
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act 1996: “work fare”
President George Bush (20012008)
Faithbased initiatives Arguments of Welfare
>Provides security from business cycles.
>Reduces stress, anxiety.
>Promotes social stability, harmony. Negative Argument: Welfare Interferes with Growth Positive Argument: Welfare Makes People “Happy”
Figure 1: Life Satisfaction and Decommodification
3.5 Denmark Sweden Ireland
UK Austria Finland
Germany 2.9 Life Satisfaction
3.3 Netherlands France 2.7 Italy 23 27 31
Decommodification 35 Why Welfare Varies: Three Worlds of Welfare
I. Socialist: Scandinavia
universal, allinclusive “social rights”
II. Continental: Germany, France, Italy
makes distinctions among groups for moral reasons (Catholicism).
III. Liberal: U.K., Ireland, United States
minimal; safety net for poor only. The “Liberal” World: Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States
1. Welfare as stigma. NOT a right.
2. Narrow, constrained entitlement.
3. Narrow benefits.
(a). Eligibility: meanstesting.
(b). Duration: brief as possible,
(c). Income replacement: small %.
(d). Range of benefits: narrow. I
Clash of Philosophies
Individual efforts can’t guarantee wellbeing.
u Government intervention seen as necessary.
T Public Opinion is Paradoxical
“There is too much welfare” (55%)
l “People should have private Social e Security accounts” (65%)
Types of Social Programs
Effect whole population
a More acceptable
e Social Security
d Medicare FederalState Partnerships
l Most social programs administered by both.
l Big programs: Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance
California AFDC $600 monthly
Mississippi AFDC $119 monthly
l “Welfare Magnets”: people move to generous states. Federal Actors & Cost
l Department of Health and Human Services: Social Security ($550 billion), Medicare ($140 billion), public health care ($94 billion) EXCEEDS Defense budget. l Department of Agriculture: Farm subsidies, food stamps, school lunch programs. l Department of Housing and Urban Development: housing for needy, lowrent housing, housing projects. $44 billion. l Department of Education: student loans, grants, scholarships. $22.3 billion. l Department of Veterans Affairs: aid to disabled veterans, benefits to elderly, retired veterans. VA hospitals and “old soldiers homes.” $37.6 billion. Looming Issues for Evaluation
l Rising Cost of social policies l Demographic crisis: 65,000,000 Baby Boomers
Social Security solvency
Health care solvency
l Lowcost housing
Shrinking lowcost housing units
Social cost (housing projects, blight) Higher Education Health Care Social Security ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course POLS 206 taught by Professor Someonethatwasjusttryingtogettheirdoctorate during the Fall '06 term at Texas A&M.
- Fall '06